Whether you call it “swearing,” “cursing” or “cussing," profanity not an unusual fixture in the vocabulary of many 13-year-old boy. Your teenager might curse to sound mature to his friends, or cannot find alternative words to express his feelings of anger, frustration or sadness. Whatever the case, your 13-year-old is mature enough to understand swearing is unacceptable, and you have several ways to help weed these unsavory words from his vocabulary.
Sit your teenager down and express your views on profanity. Make it clear that it won't be tolerated, and that the continued use of curse words can result in a variety of punishments. For instance, if your teen continues to curse, tell him the consequences are grounding or loss of privileges, such as no more access to a cellular phone or a favorite video game.
Create a family “no-swearing” contract. Explain the rules of the contract and have everyone in the house, including the parents, sign it. For example, anyone who violates the contract must place one quarter in a swear jar or lose access to the television for that evening. Post the no-swearing contract on the refrigerator. Also include a family reward if no one swears for a set amount of time, such as a week.
Enforce the no-swearing contract, which includes punishments for the parents or any other member of the household that curses. Show your teenager that swearing isn't cool and instead is a punishable offense, no matter what the individual's age. And make a concerted effort to clean up your own language.
Help your teenager find alternative ways to express his emotions. For example, if your teen begins cursing at a younger sibling for taking his video game, encourage him to express his anger in a more productive manner. Start the conversation with “I'm angry because ...” and help your teenager find the words to express his emotions.
Encourage your teenager to reprimand anyone who enters the home and uses a curse word, even if it's his favorite uncle or grandmother. If your teenager catches and calls out someone for cursing, he is encouraged to bring out the swear jar and ask for the fine.
Items you will need
- Glass or plastic jar
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